Friday, October 08, 2004

More roster stupidity from Ranger management 

Colby Lewis and Ben Kozlowski are no longer with the Rangers.

Lewis was claimed on waivers by the Tigers, Kozlowski by the Reds. Both were put on waivers for the purpose of removing them from the 40 man roster, in preparation for needing spots on the roster for minor leaguers who have to be added this offseason and for potential free agent signings.

Lewis was an understandable risk. The likelihood of a successful return from shoulder surgery is not good, and he likely would not be ready to pitch until the middle of 2005. It seemed unlikely that a team would put in a claim on him, and even if they did, it was a reasonable risk, since he probably would not be a contributor in the majors until 2007, at the earliest. The chances of Lewis ever being a quality major league pitcher, after this injury, were slight.

Kozlowski, though, was coming off of Tommy John surgery. He showed terrific stuff in 2002, when he was the Rangers' minor league pitcher of the year, before struggling in 2003 and going under the knife. The rehab period for T-J surgery is thought to be 18 months -- meaning the Kozlowski probably still isn't 100% yet -- and the recovery rate is extremely high. He has an option left, which means he can spend 2005 in the minors working on regaining his pre-injury form...and if he does, he once again becomes a very good pitching prospect.

I'm absolutely floored that this organization appears willing to devote roster spots to Travis Hughes, Edwin Moreno, and Ryan Wing -- guys who are fringe prospects, at very best -- but is willing to lose Ben Kozlowski on waivers. Kozlowski is a better prospect than any of those other three, and the only thing I can figure is that Kozlowski has been hurt or struggled ever since Buck joined the organization, and Buck, not having seen him when he's pitching well, was ready to give up on him.

So now, the organization has lost Sam Narron, Ben Kozlowski, and Colby Lewis this offseason, and has nothing to show for it.

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